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SNCF to hike train prices in January

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SNCF to hike train prices in January
Besopha
09:50 CET+01:00

Passenger groups have expressed dismay at news that state-owned train operator SNCF will put its prices up by an average of 3.2 percent from January.

The above inflation price rise is largely due to the removal of a reduced VAT rate on train travel by the government as part of its budget cutting measures. The VAT rate will rise from 5.5 percent to 7 percent.

Certain travellers will benefit from a price freeze, such as season ticket holders on the high speed TGV service and students, announced the company.

SNCF said the effect of the tax change would be "an average increase of €0.60 for TGV users."

Willy Colin, vice president of rail passengers' association AVUC told news channel i-télé that the price rise was unacceptable.

"It's a real scandal," he said. "We're being provoked again."

The association has called for a campaign of non-presentation of tickets from Monday when they are requested on trains. 

"SNCF has just given us another reason for this action," he said. "From Monday, we are calling for active and massive participation in this protest."

Other rail users expressed anger at the rise. "The monopoly has to stop," said one man, interviewed by the channel. "If this goes on people will start taking the plane because it's getting cheaper than the train."

The rise follows an increase of 2.85 percent in 2011 and 1.9 percent in 2010.

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